Trasco International was founded back in the early 1970s by Johann Ackermann. The first decade of the existence Trasco was a dedicated car import- and export company mainly dealing with luxury cars like Mercedes-Benz and originally based in Steinhausen, Switzerland. When in the mid-1980s Trasco received an order to deliver a pair of stretched Mercedes S-class limousines Mr Ackermann and his team set about checking out what was available at the time from the various coachbuilders that offered such conversions; his conclusions were that none of the cars inspected met the demands of what Trasco was willing to sell the customer and so the coach building arm of the Trasco company was born. 


The Bremen, Germany based coach building arm of Trasco International first presented itself at the 1985 motorshows of Frankfurt and Geneva. The cars shown were stretched versions of the W126 S-class, an Trasco 500SEC Gullwing and a very interesting conversion of the Mercedes-Benz 500SEC, the so-called Trasco 1000SEC/44 which was a full lenght stretch limousine based the coupe but now with four doors and double sunroofs.


But the era of over-the-top conversions was over by the mid-80s and soon enough Trasco would mostly be building more discrete conversions of the W126 S-class including a great many of the shorter (up to 18inch or 45cm) bussiness style stretched-limousines that became fashionable mostly in the far-east during the mid- to late 1980s, most of which were exported to East-Asia (Japan, Hong-Kong etc). Armouring was also something Trasco became a leading name in during those days and this is something that Trasco remains a name to be reckoned with until this very day. The company has done work for many high-profile clients including many world leaders and also has worked for car manufacturers to do factory approved armouring programs.


The Trasco International premises in Bremen, Germany, somewhere around 1984 or 85 showing a 1000SEL, a 1000SEL Stretch limousine and a Trasco 500SEC with Gullwing doors.


A Mercedes 560SEL (W126) based Trasco 12" Limousine for sale in Japan back in the early 1990s.


A Mercedes-Benz S600 W140 stretched by 42 inches and armoured as built by Trasco Bremen in the mid 1990s.




Text: copyright Bram Corts


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